Contributed by Bishop-Wisecarver
Bishop-Wisecarver Corporation® celebrates its recertification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council as a woman-owned business.
The guided motion technology manufacturer earned its original WBENC certification in 2011 after an arduous months-long process of proving its qualifications, including BWC President Pamela Kan’s majority ownership. Kan is the second-generation family member at the helm of the Bay Area-based maker of linear and rotary motion components and systems. Her father, Bud Wisecarver, founded the company in 1950 and is the inventor of DualVee Motion Technology®.
Kan began working for the family business in 1991 in a temporary position, but stayed, moving up until she became president in 2000 and majority owner by the end of 2009. She decided to pursue woman-owned certification through WBENC because the national nonprofit is the largest third-party certifier in the United States.
“Being WBENC certified gives us an advantage in the marketplace because the organization is one of the leading advocates for woman-owned businesses pursuing the supplier diversity channel,” Kan said. “It’s an opportunity-rich network. I look forward to exploring all the prospects it presents us.”
Kan attended the organization’s June National Conference and Business Fair in Orlando, FL, where she met with other WBENC members and corporations interested in partnering up with woman-run businesses to achieve supplier diversity goals. The network of female-led companies was so impressive, that Kan said she plans to attend the June 2013 WBENC national conference in Minneapolis, MN, as an exhibitor.
“This channel is very rewarding for us as a manufacturer,” Kan said about the WBENC business fair. “There are few woman-run manufacturers in the nation, let alone ones that are WBENC-certified, which made us very popular with the corporate partners WBENC put me in touch with. I strongly encourage women in manufacturing and technology fields to look into the opportunities afforded by obtaining this certification.”
BWC is represented on a local level by WBENC regional partner office Astra Women’s Business Alliance, which will host a Matchmaker & Expo event on Sept. 13 in Seattle, WA. Kan will attend as an exhibitor.
“Manufacturing, since it’s not an intuitive type of business for most women, really benefits from being part of this group,” said Sandy Hunter, president of another WBENC-certified manufacturing outfit and member of the Astra Leadership Committee that helped Bishop-Wisecarver achieve its own certification. “Not only is there business potential in this network, there is a tremendous amount of support, camaraderie and warm referrals by other woman business owners.”
Hunter said she obtained her first government contract, in part, because WBENC gave her access to supplier diversity and procurement executives at various corporations.
“Certification will pay off if you use it correctly and put in the time and effort to take advantage of the resources and opportunities it presents,” Hunter said.
Astra Vice President Suzanne Lackman echoed that sentiment.
“The main benefit is to be part of a large organization which is focused on empowering and creating the business opportunities to woman-owned businesses willing to participate in events to network and build relationships with their peers and corporations,” she said. “That can lead to business opportunities now and in the future.”